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865R Gator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I bought a brand new 2020 865R model diesel Gator with the HVAC cab and absolutely love it! BUT, it runs rough (about 500-650 rpms) for a minute when cold starting, to the point of stalling a few times before it will even run when it's below 15 degrees. It eventually levels off and idles smooth (1100-1250 rpms). I have had the dealer look at this problem and they are telling me it is not uncommon. They tested the glow plugs and fuel system. This is literally the only thing I can find wrong with the machine. I have a 2017 diesel Kubota tractor that has glow plugs too, it runs smoothly on cold starts regardless of temperature. It is a bigger engine but the technology is the same. I run a boatyard on the coast of Maine and we service some boats with Yanmar diesel engines. Some of them are cold blooded... but we don't run them in cold weather and they aren't 2020 models either.
Has anyone else had this problem? Have any diagnosis or troubleshooting tips or is this normal operation? I really expected more from a $30k machine.

Thank you!
Winter Automotive tire Automotive design Freezing Snow
 

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Mine does not do that at all. You said yours will actually stall below 15 deg. About what temp does it start to act up? At 30 degs, does it still act up? I just don't know where to look for problems if the glow plugs have a clean bill of health. Maybe experiment with different fuel.
Can you post a video? I will try to take a video of mine in the next day or two when it gets colder.
 

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I have a block heater and trans heater on my CUT and it starts like summer time with a short warm up. I would look into a block heater for sure.
I agree a block heater is a must in cold climates, but what his machine is doing does not sound normal compared to my machine of the same model.
 

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865R Gator
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately, the video files are too large I can't get them to post directly. The rough idle issues begin at around 30 degree cold starts where it will run rough for 5 seconds or so the level off. 20 degree weather makes it run rough for a minute or so. Below 15 degrees it will start but stall within two seconds 4 or 5 times before running rough for a minute or so, then run as expected. I totally understand the need for a block heater in very cold temps, typically single digits or below. On the coast of Maine, these days are so few that I didn't expect to have an issue. Thanks for the input. Try the links below.
https://youtube.be/u6exn7AI_-E
 

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Does the manual have anything useful in it about cold starts?
On my tractor, the manual says to start at half throttle which I had not been doing but it actually helps.
 

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Unfortunately, the video files are too large I can't get them to post directly. The rough idle issues begin at around 30 degree cold starts where it will run rough for 5 seconds or so the level off. 20 degree weather makes it run rough for a minute or so. Below 15 degrees it will start but stall within two seconds 4 or 5 times before running rough for a minute or so, then run as expected. I totally understand the need for a block heater in very cold temps, typically single digits or below. On the coast of Maine, these days are so few that I didn't expect to have an issue. Thanks for the input. Try the links below.
https://youtube.be/u6exn7AI_-E
Not normal at all! What was the ambient temp In the first video ? The one where it stayed running?
How long does the glow plugs stay on? The video started too late for me to tell?
What weight oil are you running? I run 0w40.
You might try nursing the gas pedal a bit until the problem is found.
I will get a video of mine maybe tonite... it’s supposed to get down to 0 (it’s been unseasonably warm this year)
But I can tell you, mine has never done anything like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The temperature in the video where it stayed running was roughly 20 degrees. The glow plugs stay on for 5 seconds, I've even tried cycling them a few times with no improvement. At the break-in and the last oil change I used what is recommended by John Deere. With my foot on the accelerator it seems to have little or no effect, maybe runs a bit worse. This would lead me to believe it could be a fuel delivery issue like air in the system or bleed back but I'm no diesel mechanic. I'm really starting to believe the service crew at my local JD dealer is incompetent. They have had this machine back for diagnosis twice now. Where the machine is still under warranty, I need to have them repair this issue and I really appreciate all of the thoughts and comparisons!
 

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2020 1025R, 120R, 54D
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I've treated the fuel with diesel 911 fuel additive to prevent gelling and moisture issues.
911 is NOT an additive to be used regularly. It should only be used when fuel is gelled in lines/filters. It can actually be harmful.
 
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So I have the same unit as you, a 2020 865R. I have had it for almost a year and about 140hrs on it. I have never had a problem with it starting, and it sits outside exposed. I have started as low as about 8 just it test it. It fired, grumbled can up to rpm within 30 seconds. I have never even used the block heater on it. In and around 25-35 I just turn the key wait a few seconds and it fires like it is summer. However my 2015 1025 gets progressively harder to start right along your temp cut offs. However once it fires it stays running and runs fine in about 30 seconds. I do notice the longer the tractor sits between runs, there is a difference in the ease of start. If I plug in the tractor for 20-30 minutes it is like is summer. All I use is fresh diesel and treat with stanadyne all year long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
911 is NOT an additive to be used regularly. It should only be used when fuel is gelled in lines/filters. It can actually be harmful.
Yeah, I've read the directions on the back of the bottle. I haven't put more than a tank of fuel in this machine since this issue began, treating the fuel was among the first things I tried.
 

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I hate to be the first to say this but it is time to load her up and take back to the dealer as what you are experiencing is NOT normal in anyway. Get it back to the dealer while it is still cold out. You are still under warranty, now is the time to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I hate to be the first to say this but it is time to load her up and take back to the dealer as what you are experiencing is NOT normal in anyway. Get it back to the dealer while it is still cold out. You are still under warranty, now is the time to use it.
The trouble is, they have had it twice now for a week at a time and are claiming it's operating as expected.
 
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